In the House of Commons Report in 2007 into the failure of the Single Payment system then, one of the reasons cited was that:
“The RPA did not adequately take into account the effects of losing a large number of experienced people. Lord Whitty should have acted at the time to prevent the departure of so many such staff.”
Yet 8 years later the Scottish Government repeated exactly the same mistake by replacing around 200 highly experienced UK workers with Tier 2 Migrants because they are cheaper.
Whilst they may be cheaper the SPS reports states that the failure of the SPS system had the following consequences:
- financial loss totalling £18–22.5m to English farmers,1 which in some individual cases has been very severe;
- disruption to the wider rural economy;
- the need for financial provision and contingent liability totalling £131m in Defra’s 2005–06 accounts for disallowance by the European Commission
- higher spending on the RPA running costs in 2005–06 and 2006–07 contributing to pressure on the budgets of the rest of Defra in 2006–07, and additional spending on external consultants;
- the likelihood that the SPS will be unstable until 2008;
- planned staff cuts in order to comply with the Department’s 2004 spending settlement have not been made and most of the £164m of planned RPA/Defra administration savings between 2005–06 and 2008–09 will not be realised;
It is interesting to note that the report also states:
This is not the first time that a major public sector business change or IT project has failed. The Government does not seem to be learning the lessons of previous failures.
The full report can be found here